Causes Of Printhead Failure in Thermal Barcode Printers
Barcode printers often transfer
images onto labels using thermal technology. These thermal barcode printers
feature a printhead that is made of multiple tiny heating elements. In many
cases, there are thousands upon thousands of these elements on a single
printhead. A glass coating protects these heating elements. When the glass is
heated, the printhead transfers the image either through a thermal ribbon or
directly upon an appropriately treated label.
Obviously, a key to the successful operation of thermal barcode printers is a
properly functioning printhead. Although even the finest
printheads are not made to last indefinitely (replacement of the part is
assumed), there are some factors that can ruin a printhead quickly or reduce its
life expectancy considerably. Review a few of these common causes of printhead
failure in thermal barcode printers:
Abrasion is often a culprit. The glass shield on the heating elements can be
worn down rapidly when the print head is regularly rubbing against an abrasive
material. The abrasion could come from any number of sources--grit in the area
or labelling featuring a great deal of “scrap” or “lint” may be responsible for
sidelining barcode printers by destroying printheads.
Misuse is another common cause of problems. Inappropriate contact with the
printhead by employees is a frequently noted source of printhead ruin. All users
of barcode printers should be instructed in proper use of the equipment and
should not make abusive or potentially damaging contact with a thermal printhead.
Overuse can also degrade a printhead. Most thermal barcode printers are rated to
perform optimally within a certain range. Users who try to stretch their printer
past its natural capacity may inadvertently damage or corrupt a printhead
By decreasing the likelihood of printhead failure, thermal barcode printers can
be a more reliable and affordable part of your business.
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